The Martialarm Intro To Capoeira

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					Title:
The Martialarm Intro To Capoeira

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703

Summary:
Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art, game, and culture created by
enslaved Africans in Brazil during the 17th Century. Throughout the game,
a player must avoid a sweep, trip, kick, or head butt that may knock him
or her on the floor.


Keywords:
capoeira, capoeira, martial arts, history, information, news


Article Body:
The Martialarm Introduction To Capoeira

Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian martial art, game, and culture created by
enslaved Africans in Brazil during the 17th Century. Participants form a
roda (circle) and take turns playing instruments, singing, and sparring
in pairs in the center of the circle. The game is marked by fluid
acrobatic play, feints, subterfuge, and extensive use of groundwork, as
well as sweeps, kicks, and headbutts. Throughout the game, a player must
avoid a sweep, trip, kick, or head butt that may knock him or her on the
floor. Less frequently-used techniques include elbow-strikes, slaps,
punches, and body-throws. Capoeira has three variations known as
"Capoeira Angola", "Capoeira Regional", and the ever-evolving "Capoeira
Contemporânea".

From the 16th to the 19th centuries, Portugal shipped slaves into South
America from western Africa. The South American country of Brazil was the
most common destination for African captives[citation needed] with 42% of
all enslaved peoples shipped across the Atlantic. Most commonly sold into
Brazil were Akan, Igbo, Yoruba, Dahomean, Muslim Guineans, Hausa, and
Bantu (among them Kongos, Kimbundas and Kasanjes) from Angola, Congo and
Mozambique.

These Africans brought their cultural traditions and religions with them
to the New World. One theory suggests that capoeira originated from a
fern courtship dance[citation needed] in Angola used by suitors of young
women, however, this is only one of many disputed theories. There is
contention as to whether the game arrived with enslaved Africans or
whether Africans refined a preexisting Brazilian game. One catalyst for
capoeira was the homogenization of African people under the oppression of
slavery. Capoeira emerged as a way to resist oppression, secretly
practice art, transmit culture, and lift spirits. Some historians believe
that the indigenous peoples of Brazil also played an important role in
the development of capoeira.
Capoeira was advanced by Brazilian slaves of African descent (presumably
admitted from the Portuguese colony of Angola) some time in the 16th
century. since it was illegal for slaves to practice fighting skills,
they varied native African spiritual dances so that each time they
practised their art they might appear to merely be dancing. Due to the
fact these dances included manoeuvres such as handstands, back flips, and
cartwheels, Capoeira is today the most energetic of all martial arts,
with many kicks being executed from a handstand position. Its offensive
techniques are initially kicks, its defensive techniques are in the
beginning body movements which stay away from the enemy's attack all
together. African culture is a large part of studying Capoeira, above all
since training and competition is done to the rhythm of the berimbau, a
single- stringed musical instrument. Only in the 20th century has the
practice of Capoeira become legal in Brazil, and Only in very modern
years has it been taught in other countries.

In 1942, Mestre Pastinha opened the first formal academy for instruction
in the traditional form of the art, known as capoeira Angola. Mestre
Pastinha's efforts prevented capoeira Angola from being lost as newer,
modernized forms of the art gained popularity.

This era was a milestone of a dramatic change in the mode of instruction
of the art of capoeira. Previously, capoeira was passed on in secret,
usually from a relative such as one's father or uncle, or in a small
group setting where several young people in a particular community would
receive guidance from elder practitioners from that community. During
this era, the academy system became the predominant form of participation
in the art. Presently, there are capoeira academies on almost every
continent of the world.

Another significant change that occurred due to the proliferation of
capoeira 'schools' is the participation of middle and upper class members
of the population. Presently, some Mestres participate in seminars where
they discuss the need to make the art available to poor blacks who can
not afford the cost of training in an academy. This is an issue of
concern to practitioners who recognize the importance of making the art
available to people who come from the culture that invented the art in
the first place.

Capoeira training can be done in any city in the world and I encourage
you to visit out martial arts directory of Capoeira to find a school near
you!

				
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